How to carry out your dot card exercises

This leaflet is for patients who have been diagnosed with Convergence weakness and given a dot card.

How to carry out your Dot Card exercisesTo view a PDF you may need to download Adobe Reader.

This exercise is a very effective treatment when it is done properly.

At your appointment your Orthoptist gave you a Dot Card and explained how to perform the exercises correctly. This reminder should help you to do your exercises correctly.

How do I carry out the dot card exercise?

The aim of the exercise is to maintain a single image of the dot you are directly looking at. All other dots and the lines will be seen double and in the following ways;

  • If you require reading glasses these should be worn when doing these exercises.
  • If the Orthoptist has put a stick on Fresnel prism over one lens of your reading glasses this should be kept on.
  • Hold the dot card in a slightly depressed position so it is touching the tip of your nose and with the line of dots extending away from you.
  • Look at the dot at the end of the card, (farthest from your nose) and ensure this dot appears single. The remainder of the dots and the line then appear double forming an A shape.
  • Now look at the second furthest dot and ensure it is single before moving on to the next.
  • Continue slowly up the card ensuring each dot you are focusing on is single.

If you are unable to make the dot you are looking at appear single, go back to the previous step and try again.

  • You will notice all dots before and after will double and the line will look like an X.
  • Continue to move your eyes one dot at a time towards your nose. When you reach and maintain focus on the dot nearest to your nose this should be single and the remainder of the dots and the line then appear double forming a V shape.
  • Now slowly change your focus, retracing your steps back down the line of dots to the start position.
  • Once you can achieve smooth convergence up and down the card the Orthoptist may ask you to jump from the end dot, to a middle dot, to the nearest dot and back to the end.
  • Keep doing this for 2 to 3 minutes aiming to keep the target single at all times.
  • You should aim to do your exercises 4 to 5 times a day for no longer than 2 to 3 minutes at a time.

Are there any simple tips?

  • Keep both eyes open all the time.
  • Always wear your reading glasses.
  • Don’t rush, take your time and take regular breaks.
  • Be patient – you will not be able to reach the dot closest to your nose immediately. It will take time and practice.